Learn About Applying for South Carolina Car Registration With Our Free Guide

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Welcome to carreg.org, your comprehensive resource for all your vehicle registration-related information. The guide we provide is completely FREE OF CHARGE. You can also find available related information in other official sites or local offices. You can download for for free our comprehensive guide and resources, which contains vital information in order to perform any DMV service.

South Carolina

Applying for Car Registration in South Carolina

Applying for South Carolina vehicle registration credentials is one of the first steps you must take after purchasing a new or used automobile. You must complete the registration application process within 45 days from the original date of purchase.

In most cases, you can begin your application online, or you may apply in person or by mail. However, the specific DMV registration process you must follow will vary depending on how and where you acquire the motor vehicle.

Note: If your car is already registered but you have lost your registration materials, you may be able to simply apply for a vehicle registration replacement instead.

If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you must register the car yourself through  the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). If you purchase the vehicle from a dealership, however, you may not need to worry about completing the registration process yourself.

To learn more about DMV car registration and how to apply, review the information below.

Getting Vehicle Registration Records in South Carolina

To obtain new car registration credentials after you buy a vehicle from a private seller, you must submit your application materials directly to the SCDMV. Typically, you can register and title your vehicle in person or by mail. You may also be able to begin your registration and titling application online.

If you purchased a vehicle from a South Carolina dealership, however, the dealer will typically complete the title and SC auto registration process on your behalf.

Get free instructions about applying for a registration in South Carolina by downloading our helpful vehicle registration guide.


To get a new vehicle registration after purchasing an automobile from a private seller, you may be able to begin your application online.

After completing your online application, you must print your paperwork and pay any applicable fees in person at an SCDMV branch near you. During your office visit, you must submit your completed application, proof of vehicle ownership and any other required documents.

In Person

“Where can I apply for car registration near me if I prefer to submit my paperwork in person?” To pay your vehicle registration fees and taxes at an SCDMV office, you may visit any branch in the state.

Regardless of whether you begin your registration application online or you wish to complete the entire process in person, you must visit an SCDMV branch to complete the process. Be sure to bring:

  • A filled-out title application.
  • Proof of vehicle ownership.
  • Valid payment for taxes and fees.

Depending on the situation, you may need to submit additional documentation as well, such as a Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina.

Note: Remember that your payment will cover the initial one-time registration fee. You will still need to pay a fee for your yearly car registration renewal.

Your exact SCDMV registration fees will vary by vehicle type and the gross weight of the automobile. If you apply for new auto registration credentials more than 45 days from the date on which you purchased the vehicle, you will also need to pay a penalty fee before leaving the DMV office.

By Mail

To pay car registration taxes and fees by mail rather than in person, you must forward your application materials to the SCDMV’s Titles and Registration Division in Blythewood.

Download our vehicle registration guide for detailed information about applying for an SC car registration.